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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Dignity in the Terminally Ill: New Insights and Opportunities in Palliative End-of-Life Care
Harvey Chochinov, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry, Community Health Sciences, and Family Medicine (Division of Palliative Care), University of Manitoba, and Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, CancerCare Manitoba
How do we ensure that dying patients maintain their sense of dignity until the very end? To begin, one must appreciate how the terminally ill understand the notion of dignity, and what factors undermine or maintain dignity for those nearing death. This talk will address these issues, using clinical illustrations and research data, highlighting therapeutic considerations for patients nearing end of life. An empirical model of dignity will be presented, along with the rational for Dignity Therapy – a novel, brief intervention specifically designed to maintain the dignity of dying patients and their families. There is mounting evidence demonstrating the efficacy and role of this approach in the context of palliative care. Both quantitative data and case examples will be used, illustrating how Dignity Therapy can influence sense of dignity, purpose, and meaning; along with preparedness for death.
Following the keynote presentation, Dr. Chochinov will sign
copies of his books (available for sale during the conference) or
bookplates for those who have his books at home.
Friday, April 26, 2013
The Empty Sky and the Politics of Mourning: The Loss of the 9/11 Dead and Their “Return” on CSI
Kevin O'Neill, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, University of Redlands
On September 11, 2001, more than 2,800 people died in the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Fewer than 300 intact bodies were recovered. More than 1,100 people disappeared without a trace. The rest were recovered in fragments. Almost 20,000 of these remain in storage at the as-yet unopened 9/11 Museum.
I argue that some of the work of mourning for these lost dead has
been done, indirectly, on the three CSI series, in which murder victims
are recovered, examined and reintegrated into the society that lost
them. One way we have dealt with the trauma of loss is by fictionally
rediscovering and redeeming these lost dead, in an act of collective
fictional mourning that is as televisual as the original tragedy.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Pathways of Grief: Clinician as
M. Katherine Shear, MD
Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry in Social Work, Columbia University School of Social Work
Bereaved people often find themselves in new and unfamiliar
territory. To navigate this new landscape requires confronting dual
challenges of acknowledging the reality of the death (i.e. its finality
and consequences) and re-envisioning a purposeful life that has the
possibility of satisfaction and joy. There is no map for this journey,
but people need companionship as they make their way. Some people turn
to a clinician for guidance. This presentation suggests clinicians
conceptualize themselves as Sherpa guides, becoming experts in the
terrain and serving as porter and guide for the traveler.
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